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democratic strategist-- okay. steve, i go to you because i read the white house reaction to this, and really all they talked about was raising the top tax rates. they had no other things to say, no commendations, no i want to work with you. steve, i know this stuff is not going to be perfect. there's going to be stuff in here that conservatives, supply siders myself won't like. but why does the white house have to obsess about higher tax rates to the exclusion of other parts like entitlement reform and spending cuts? why is this? >> larry, i don't think they are obsessed with higher tax rates they are obsessed with protecting the middle class. john boehner's proposal includes $800 billion in revenue but doesn't specific where it comes from. barack obama has been specific in his plan and look both sides have their plans and there's going to be negotiation, will probably end up somewhere in between. i don't understand why we can't raise tax rates on the top 1% of people if we're going to get to a balanced plan. why should the middle class pay more when we have people at the top who can pay mor
to be able to compete around the world. >> and then larry, later in the afternoon, our steve leishman sat down with treasury secretary tim geithner. geithner in that interview late in the afternoon made it clear that this is brinksmanship of the highest order. >> i want to understand the administration's position when it comes to raising taxes on the wealthy. those making more than $250,000. if republicans do not agree to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> oh, absolutely. there's no prospect for an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthy. it's only 2%. >> reporter: of course, up on capitol hill, republicans don't necessarily agree with that. speaker of the house john boehner said today that he is still waiting for a counterproposal now from the president of the united states. and we learned late this afternoon that in fact speaker boehner and president obama had a phone call today. we don't know, however, what was said in that call. but reports are that some progress is being made in these negotiations. at least co
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